Managing the urban change: A morphological perspective for planning

Tolga Ünlü


This study questions the awareness of planners on the intrinsic qualities of the built environment in shaping of urban form in Turkey throughout a centennial period after foundation of Turkish Republic in 1923. It suggests a morphological framework, to develop such an evaluation, which is based on three basic principles: the historicity of urban forms, the hierarchical nesting of urban form elements, and their reconciliation within a complex interaction with each other in a part-to-whole relationship. It is regarded as an initial attempt to develop a brief discussion about a morphological perspective to be utilized in planning practice. It is asserted that the centennial development of planning practice in Turkey brought to light that the professionals lost their concern on the intrinsic qualities of urban form, on how it is evolved historically, and on how its elements are related to each other. They abandoned themselves to the relative ease of application of insensitive planning with high confidence on the decency and convenience of procedural functioning of planning. It reveals that there is a need for a morphological perspective that would take into account the morphological unity of urban form elements within their interplay in order to develop a responsive planning approach.


Morphological research, planning practice, morphological unity, part-to-whole relationship

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